I just did this mod and as everyone has said this a must do. It is so much easier to have smooth shifts now. I definitely recommend removing the spring.
If you use needle nose pliers you will be able to remove the top pin by wiggling it out.
I'm driving an 08 m3 sedan with 10 000 miles. I should have done this mod much much sooner.
I would not have been able to remove the clips without a curved pick, a mirror and a flashlight. This is a must do. Thanks to all who contributed to this thread. Driving this car is so much more enjoyable.
Have a good one!